What you need to know:
- Maendeleo ya Wanaume Organisation survey reveals that eight out of 10 boys in secondary school are sexually active.
- Seven out of 10 boys are not willing to repeat classes should they be forced to do so once schools re-open after Covid-19 break.
- Consumption of miraa among teenage boys a challenge in Meru.
- 15 per cent of underage boys in Taita Taveta County are engaging in homosexuality, alcohol, drug abuse and trafficking.
Eight out of 10 boys in secondary school are sexually active, a survey by Maendeleo ya Wanaume Organisation (Mawe) has revealed.
Conducted between July and August, the survey shows that a majority of boys in their teenage years have had a sexual relationship with a girl.
The survey was conducted in Meru, Taita Taveta, Kiambu, Narok and Migori counties.
It also shows that seven out of 10 boys are not willing to repeat classes should they be forced to do so once schools re-open after a six months break due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In Meru, the survey found out that three out of 10 secondary school students are likely to drop out of school to engage in the lucrative miraa trade at the expense of education.
Consumption of miraa among teenage boys in the area is also a major challenge with the survey showing that about 60 per cent of male secondary students engage in the miraa eating
Lack of stringent government policies to regulate the business and control the trade from abuse by boys as young as young as 12 years has been blamed for accelerating the issue.
The survey indicates that 15 per cent of underage boys in Taita Taveta County are engaging in homosexuality, alcohol, drug abuse and trafficking.
It also shows that the region has a high number of drug dealers and abusers affecting about 30 per cent underage boys.
School dropout rate in the county is at three out of 10 boys according to the survey with children engaging themselves in the mining trade at the expense of school.
Due to its metropolitan nature, Kiambu boosts of many underage boys engaging in child labour with two out of 10 boys engaging in menial jobs such as carrying goods in market and scrap metals for sale.
Many teenage boys, the survey found out, have also joined the boda boda business.
“Underage boys are engaging in crimes by virtue of being members of organised criminal gangs in the county,” the survey report reads in part.
Mawe chairman Nderitu Njoka said to curb the vices, there is need for sex education to be introduced in secondary schools.
“This will help students understand and know their bodies better and the dangers of engaging in irresponsible sex behaviour,” said Nderitu.
He added the Ministry of Education should also introduce counselling lessons in primary and secondary schools due to the gross behaviour changes witnessed among students and the adverse effects of drug abuse during Covid-19 lockdown.
To avoid any unnecessary unrest that may arise as a result of students being forced to repeat classes, Nderitu said students should not be forced to repeat classes
Mr Njoka observed government programs to look into the plight of the boy child are insufficient and need to be up scaled.
The government recently announced school will be re-opened next month.
The October reopening of schools will be in phases, ending six months of closure occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic.
In its final proposal to Cabinet Secretary George Magoha on Monday, the Education Response Committee on Covid-19 said learners should be in school from October 5 to 19.
The ministry has in the past ruled out forcing pupils and students to repeat classes due to the lost time as a result of the pandemic.
The Church has, on several occasions, opposed the introduction of sex education in school saying that will help pupils and students to become even more immoral.